2018 will have been the year in which 4G connectivity surpassed 3G in Latin America, suggests a new report from the GSMA.
Entitled “The Mobile Economy: Latin America and the Caribbean 2018”, the report forecasts that by the end of the year, 4G networks will account for 38 percent of the region’s connections. That points to a remarkable trajectory, with 4G having accounted for only eight percent three years ago. And 4G connectivity is expected to reach 74 percent of the region’s mobile subscribers by the year’s end, compared to 68 percent in mid-year.
The rise of 4G in the region is important for a number of reasons. In addition to the significant economic contribution of mobile technologies and services, which the GSMA says accounted for five percent of GDP in the region last year, the spread of 4G prepares the groundwork for ultra-fast 5G connectivity, which is expected to begin to emerge in certain parts of the globe next year.
4G connectivity also helps to support innovative new technologies including those associated with the Internet of Things, such as agricultural sensors that can help to improve yields. A growing number of important mobile services also rely on high-speed connectivity, such as digital banking systems that use biometric authentication for security.
A lot rests on 4G, in other words; and as these networks continue to expand in the Latin American and Caribbean markets, they also set the stage for further innovation and advancement once 5G starts to gain traction in 2019.